Ipswich 0-0 Wednesday
Portman Road, Ipswich
21/11/09 - 5.20pm
Wednesday picked up a point on their travels in a dull clash in poor weather conditions against Roy Keane's lowly Ipswich Town in front of the Sky TV cameras.
For the most part, the match was a dire affair, with little quality on show from either side, although the hosts edged the first hour and carved out the better chances.
Owls stopper Lee Grant was in top form between the sticks though, and Wednesday could well have nicked it late on after upping their gear with a more impressive final 15 minutes.
They couldn't put the ball in the back of the net, but the point will have suited Brian Laws' men more than the Tractor Boys.
Laws made just the one change to the side that lost out to Q.P.R. last time out, with the injured Tommy Miller missing a return to his former club, with Michael Gray returning to the Owls midfield.
Laws stuck with his favoured 4-3-3 formation on the road, with Tudgay spearheading an attack which was supported by Jermaine Johnson and Luke Varney on either side.
The clash started at a scrappy pace and David Wright launched a long range effort straight at Grant just two minutes in as the hosts started the brighter of the two teams.
Tamas Priskin beat the Wednesday offside trap just minutes later but took the ball wide of goal before hitting a tame effort at the Owls goalkeeper, who was the busier of the two stoppers in the first half.
Wednesday struggled to get any momentum in the first half, with passes going astray and three defenders picking up yellow cards.
Frank Simek, Richard Hinds and Lewis Buxton were all booked, Hinds rather controversially, as the referee seemed pretty card happy in front of the TV cameras.
Buxton got lucky not long after in the first half with a late challenge that could well have resulted in a second booking, but this time the man in black kept his cards in his pocket as the centre-back escaped an early bath.
The first real chance for the visitors came in the 20th minute through Jermaine Johnson, who was put in the starting eleven despite a hectic international schedule with Jamaica recently.
Spurr picked the winger out at the far post with a deep cross, and he pulled the ball down before beating his man, but the strike was straight at the Ipswich stopper.
It could, and should, have got better for the Owls less than ten minutes later when calls for a penalty for handball fell on deaf ears.
Another cross into the box saw Luke Varney flick the ball on with his head and the ball clearly struck the hand of Damien Delaney, but the referee waved play on despite protests from the Owls.
Lee Martin hit a good effort which Grant had to be alert to push wide, but the chances were few and far between in a poor quality first 45 minutes.
The best chance of the first half for Wednesday came after the half hour mark when a long ball forward gave Tudgay the opportunity to volley straight at the Ipswich goalkeeper, while Gray's follow-up went harmlessly wide.
At the other end, Carlos Edward's long range effort went high and wide to bring an end to a forgetful first half at Portman Road.
Wednesday, and the game in general for the neutrals, needed to come out upping their gear in the second half, but it failed to materialise.
It didn't help that the swirling wind and pouring rain made it difficult for either side to play any kind of free-flowing football.
The re-called Owen Garvan looked the most dangerous player for Town, and he saw another effort well saved by the in-form Grant.
Varney saw a long range effort go wide, but Wednesday did start to get back into the game as the match wore on.
It came when Laws made changes with Leon Clarke coming on to replace the tired Johnson.
Clarke made an instant impact, and looked the best outfield player for the Owls during his stint on the pitch, being at everything creative at the right end of the pitch as far as the Owls were concerned.
Priskin had a chance chalked off for offside, while former Owl Alan Quinn also forced Grant into a save as the chances dried up for Ipswich and it looked like the Owls were to be the more likely winners.
Simek linked well inside the box but the defenders blocked his effort, while Varney and Clarke both saw chances come and go.
But they couldn't break through the Ipswich defence - and the weather - as both sides held out for a draw which will more likely please Laws than Keane.
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